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Kitchen of the Week: A Seventies-Era Overhaul in Australia

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Kitchen of the Week: A Seventies-Era Overhaul in Australia

May 31, 2018

Architect Lisa Breeze lived in her 1970s townhouse in Melbourne, Australia, for several years before she changed a single thing—long enough to know exactly what she wanted to do differently, and long enough to grow attached to the house’s personality.

The kitchen was a top priority for an overhaul; it had limited storage, cheap hardware, and Breeze’s personal “pet peeve—a configuration that doesn’t enable you to speak with guests while cooking,” she says. Since the townhouse is small, and Breeze lives with her husband and two dogs, the kitchen also needed to hold the dining room, laundry, and a makeshift potting shed for the couple’s petite backyard. “I’m not a fan of clutter,” said Breeze, “so finding a home for everything was really important.”

As for the quirks she had grown to love, Breeze liked some design elements that had survived from the seventies—namely, “fabulous retro timber paneling in one of the bedrooms,” echoed elsewhere in a heavy wood central staircase and exposed wood beam ceilings. She wanted to lighten the overall effect while celebrating the timber vibe, so she copied the pattern of the timber wall paneling and had lines routed in the kitchen cabinet fronts to re-create the look. In the end, she says, the design process was “efficient and fun,” and gave her a chance to experiment while elevating her favorite part of her home’s original design.

Photography by Caitlin Mills, courtesy of Lisa Breeze.

The kitchen cabinets are MDF with custom routed lines for the paneled wood effect. &#8
Above: The kitchen cabinets are MDF with custom routed lines for the paneled wood effect. “Each line was drawn and dimensioned to work with the cupboard openings,” says the architect.
The cabinets are painted in blue-gray Buoyant from paint purveyor Dulux. The architect retained the exposed beam ceiling to extend the retro timber theme.
Above: The cabinets are painted in blue-gray Buoyant from paint purveyor Dulux. The architect retained the exposed beam ceiling to extend the retro timber theme.
The induction cooktop and oven are both from Bosch.
Above: The induction cooktop and oven are both from Bosch.
The countertops are Super White Quartzite. The backsplash is a structural brick wall, painted white. The Soap Dispenser is from Muji.
Above: The countertops are Super White Quartzite. The backsplash is a structural brick wall, painted white. The Soap Dispenser is from Muji.
A glossy black Smeg refrigerator has the narrow profile Breeze wanted.
Above: A glossy black Smeg refrigerator has the narrow profile Breeze wanted.
The cabinet pulls are made of Tasmanian oak, from Australian architectural hardware brand In-teria.
Above: The cabinet pulls are made of Tasmanian oak, from Australian architectural hardware brand In-teria.
The circular table in the dining nook was a &#8
Above: The circular table in the dining nook was a “glorious” eBay find, says the architect. She had the Thonet chairs custom painted in blue.

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